The Key

20130921-DSCN3617One of the first things I customarily tend to when I acquire a car is to ensure that I have a duplicate set of keys.   But for some reason I have neglected to do so for the Blue Rascal.  Herman told me of his quest to have a key made, and by then I had read all kinds of adventures and misadventures on Rennlist, 944Online, Pelican Parts, etc.  And, of course, I had read the daunting statement in the 944 Owners Manual that suggested that I could obtain duplicate keys in case of loss from my Porsche dealer only if I had the original key number, which apparently was originally furnished on a separate plastic tag — long gone by the time I bought the Rascal.

Upon presentation of your VIN number, along with suitable documentation such as car title and ID, some have paid over $100 to have their Porsche dealer order a new key, I had also learned.  

So, today I arose from bed determined to procrastinate no longer.  I had earlier disassembled my key to see if I could get a new battery for it — couldn’t find one and found the internals of the key head with integrated light to be very corroded and in tiny pieces that could barely be fitted back together.  

Turns out that wife Kim needed to visit her favorite hardware store, local and locally owned, to track down a replacement for an ancient light fixture.  So I tagged along and asked them to make a duplicate key.  I told them that I understood that a VW or Audi blank would work, so we tried that first.  Two keys later, no success.  Then an employee looked into a thick manual and found some information for Porsche 944 in fine print.  But no matching blank.  But by physically comparing my well-worn original with other blanks, he found one that seemed to have potential.  Cut that and it worked for the rear hatch with some jiggling, ignition with a little more jiggling, but not for either door.  We walked back inside and the employee found another of his co-workers who was said to be the truly experienced person for the job.  Two more tries with a new “expert” with cutting no-name blanks and we finally came up with something that worked fairly well, would definitely do for an emergency backup, although not as smoothly as my original.  

The second “expert” employee also engaged me at length about how great is was to see someone actually driving an old Porsche, instead of stashing it away as a garage/trailer queen.  He turned out to be a fancier and rebuilder of old Chevy trucks.   And he ended up insinuating himself into  some fine-tuning of the rear hatch adjustment (which now works very nicely! ), shot some of my various latches and hinges and connections here and there with his personal lubricants of choice (including Seafoam Deep Creep and Blue Works Dry Lube).

Oh, yeah.  Finally, I had to pay for all this.  My charge — exactly $1.39.

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